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Trip Report Part Four of an 18 Day RV trip - Homer

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Note: Somewhere along the road we picked up a local hitchhiker ... he is the softest and cutest stuffed bear we’ve ever seen. He is very quiet, doesn’t take up much space, and spends most of his time looking out the window for salmon!

Thursday, August 21 (Day 12) – Arrived late afternoon ... our camp site, Heritage RV Park was recommended by a guy we met in Talkeetna, and is the best one so far. A bit more expensive ($73/night), but it is well worth it. The shower at the camp site has an attendant who cleans the stall after each use. The place is spotless. I am so glad that we will be spending four nights here. We are right on the water, at the end of Homer Spit. We have best site in the park, #6, very near to the shower and office, no neighbor to our right.
We walked to the end of the spit (15 minute walk) to Mako Water Taxi and booked the China Poot/Fly/Hike/Boat Tour for Saturday. We then walked over to a small Chamber of Commerce-manned hut and talked with Nila, who showed us a map of Homer and the surrounding area and suggested a nice scenic drive for tomorrow.

Friday, August 22 (Day 13) – We stopped at the Two Sister’s Bakery for breakfast (recommended by the owner of Mako Water Taxi) – it was very good. We took a walk through a part of Homer (not the Spit) and stopped at all the gift shops and galleries along Pioneer Ave. We found a couple of glass bears (a mama bear and a baby bear, about 4” to 6”) by a local artist that we really liked, so they agreed to move to a more favorable climate in Tustin, CA.
Then we then went on to the scenic loop drive up East Hill Road and drive down West Hill Road – the view of the Spit on the top was incredible. We discovered the Carle Wynn Nature Center on the way, it was so pretty there. It has daily guided tour at 10am and 2pm, we will come back in a couple of days to take the tour.
We walked the shops along Homer Spit, bought a necklace from a local artist and a couple bags of local tea for granddaughter Nikki. We also ordered two box lunches from Boardwalk Bakery for tomorrow on the China Poot tour. Too tired to think about cooking, we had dinner at Glacier D, a hamburger/taco place, the burgers were great. We are back to the RV park at 6...to do the dreaded “laundry day” (and have a nice hot shower).
Saturday, August 23 (Day 14) – We set the alarm to wake up at 7am for the China Poot Tour and saw the sun rise over the horizon, it was glorious.
We had breakfast at the Boardwalk Café where we ordered the lunch boxes, the breakfast was ok, and so were the lunch boxes. We were at the Mako Water Taxi’s office at 9:15am, they ordered a taxi to take us to Steller Floatplane. The floatplane took us
to China Poot Lake (a 30 minute ride) in the Kachemak Bay State Park.
The pilot Jimmy walked with us up a bit after landing, and showed us the trailhead. The trail was 2.5 miles according to all information provided – but surely that must be as the crow flies – it took us a good three and a half hours! The trail was mostly overgrown this late in the year, lots of up and down, slippery rocks, a little mud, and just downright treacherous for “young” hikers like us ...it was a very challenging hike. But it was beautiful, all kinds of berries along the trail, raspberries, blueberries, and berries we don’t even recognize. Rick was leading which made it much easier for me, all I had to do was follow his steps.
At the end of the trail (Halibut Cove Lagoon) there was a Ranger Station where we sat and rested up a bit until our water taxi came to pick us up at the harbor at 3pm. As soon as we got on the boat it started to rain...if it had started to rain while we were on the trail it could have been “big trouble in River City”...literally!
We couldn’t face the prospect of cooking tonight, so we went to Glacier D again for an early dinner. We ordered an immediate two bowls of clam chowder for a “let’s get warm” starter. Rick had a fried oyster basket and I had the spicy halibut taco. The halibut was the best I ever had. After we ate, the really friendly owner Lee, said he would make me a salmon wrap to try (which is not even on the menu), but I was too full by then...so maybe tomorrow. So glad that the Heritage RV Park has nice showers, we were cold and wet, it did the trick to warm us up. Tough as it was, we had a really good time...just don’t expect us to do it again any time soon (or just call the evac helicopter for Pat right now ... in advance!)

Sunday, August 24 (Day 15) – Last full day in Homer, we are taking it easy today. Rick made Chinese sausage with scrambled eggs (it started as an omelet in a non-nonstick pan that demonstrated it sticky capability!), and bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. It rained all night and is continuing today, so our desire to take it easy today was well-timed. We drove around town, saw a Pull Tab Alaska shop, were curious and went in. Pull Tab is Alaska version of “scratch-off” lottery, but instead of scratch off you pull off paper tabs to see if you won. It’s the only legal gambling in Alaska with the money going to support veterans and education.
We tried to go to the Norman Lowell Gallery in Anchor Point (a 20 mile drive), but it was closed so we did some backroad touring on the way back to town ... very pretty.

We went to a couple of gift shops and galleries in town. One of the galleries is having a closing sale, so Pat bought a really nice and colorful scarf. She also decided to ignore the stairs and took a fall down three steps while smacking into a wall and breaking her eye glasses. Rick was very worried, but no major injury ... the sales lady fixed the glasses with Crazy Glue but we managed a graceful but wobbly exit with Pat feeling a little dizzy. To ensure that the dizziness was not hunger related we went back to Glacier D’s to have a late lunch, Lee’s wife made Pat a salmon appetizer and Lee (the owner) made her a spicy salmon taco and a spicy halibut taco, both excellent. I will miss them.

Then time for a mid-day (2:30) relax in the in bed in the RV where I am watching a few “Murder She Wrote” episodes. Before we left Tustin, Rick downloaded 3 seasons of “Death in Paradise” and 9 seasons of “Murder She Wrote” for me. I manage to watch a couple of shows every day.

There are two nice barbeques in the park, so Rick decided to give them a try as we wind down on our food supplies. He used wood chopsticks to skewer the last of the shrimp we bought in Valdez (marinated in butter, parsley, and granulated garlic) powder, and seasoned the two T-bone steaks we picked up and froze when we arrived in Anchorage. Well ... dinner is done and we are tucked in for the night. Tomorrow we need to be up and off early since it is 263 miles to Palmer, our last stop, where we will be going to the Alaska State Fair.